Well, made it to and from PAX East safe and sound thanks to a friend with a spare ticket and a pretty sweet room location. It was a good time. I’ve done cons before, but this was probably the biggest event I’ve visited. All in all, I kind of want to say more tabletop and card games caught my eye than actual video games, oddly. It didn’t really feel like a giant, bustling venue was the best place for me to really soak in anything I tried, and I couldn’t eavesdrop on the players in tabletop to see how fast they picked up the rules. (Usually if the guy running it has to stop someone and explain something past a certain amount of times, I start to doubt I would have much luck with my own copy and a handful of friends with increasingly precious time.)
I’d particularly like to shout out Zephyr, who brought a combining robot tactical card game to the show- the poor guys’ table blended in with the crowd and as of Friday, their domain had expired so *hopefully* I can find a legit way to point people at them. I got a business card, that help?
Of course there were plenty of regular old video games to catch my eye too. I played a few rounds of, and sucked horribly at Capsule <something, can’t find the business card.> They really nailed the graphical vibe of an early 90s Japanese retro game, but the actual game got kind of old fast with only 1v1 matches. It’s a little like Nidhogg, only your goal is to ride a moving platform to your opponent’s goal rather than swording your way on foot. VA11-HALL-A is a text heavy cyberpunk bartending simulator (which also feels pretty 80s, come to think of it.) Most of the other stuff I liked has probably already been pretty widely covered elsewhere, but Curses and Chaos was looking mighty fine in its faux arcade cabinet, and I actually had no idea wargaming.net‘s World of Tanks had blossomed into spinoff games for naval and air combat too. Guild Wars 2 had its Heart of Thorns demo prominently shown off, which I would be more excited about if I participated in WvW and our guild was active enough to make the most of the new strongholds being added. Splatoon looked cool. Can’t say much about Codename S.T.E.A.M., really- I went in expecting something close to Valkyria Chronicles and wound up finding the demo kind of like a janky version.
But, real talk here- I go to these shows to hang out with friends and shop for geek stuff without worrying about shipping. It’s a shame wargames are so expensive, I saw a lot of sweet miniature based games as well as vendors with terrain. There were a couple spots trying to offset the expense a bit, one producing characters on double sided transparencies in particular seemed like a great way to bring down the cost of character figures while not looking completely chintzy. (At a glance, I thought they were fantasy themed Shrinky Dinks.)
Got to meet up with some Talking Tyrants, too. Sounded like not many showed, so plans were hard to nail down, but I got in a little quality Power Stone time with them before everyone wound up doing their own things.
Also in the interest of full disclosure, I actually typed all of this on the plane home partly because my 3DS ran out of juice and partly because I probably won’t have a hell of a lot of steam left when I get there. So, uh, if I do crash, would someone kindly fix the “made it safe and sound” part at the beginning and save me some posthumous embarassment?
Ungaaaah, what am I even gonna draw? Why didn’t I do it while I was at Logan waiting?Ha, actually wound up screwing with the sketch app on my phone. It works a lot better for sloppy ‘painting’ than as a ‘sketch’ tool.